I'm in the "every sentence sounds kind of stupid" mode of revision on "Unearthed." Some of them may, indeed, be poorly done; as there's no ideal sentence, each is less than ideal; the broader problem is the usual one of voice, of making the narrator sound like one person (who isn't me) rather than like me at various times of day or states of mental with-it-ness. I keep seeing sentences that make me say, "Yeah, that's exactly how I'd write that," which makes me revise to be less-like-me, though, no surprise, that's still me because who else is there to judge how the sentence sounds?
Last night I began All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly. Is that the same line drawing of a whale that was on the Philbrick Moby-Dick book? Hmm. I started this as a way to pull myself up from the obsessive thoughts of death spurred by Julian Barnes's excellent Nothing to Be Frightened Of. It may be "nothing to be frightened of," but it's also "nothing one wants to obsess over to the point of distraction," so rather than dwelling, in my reading, on my eventual obliteration, I moved on to a book more focused on the bright bonfire of storytelling and not the encircling dark.
The book moves briskly, though the culture its aiming to cure, no longer god-saturated (a process that started hundreds of years ago), isn't the whole picture. Certainly there are plenty of folks who, contra the fallout from the Renaissance and Enlightenment, still see the world as under God's command. Yes, even these "believers," of whatever religious background, approach things more independently and existentially than, say, their 14th-century peers, but they nonetheless inhabit a different reality than these writers. In any case, after an analysis of our current "nihilism," they move into a discussion of how David Foster Wallace both probed this radical uncertainty and succumbed to it. I'm only about 50 pages in.